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Getting from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Zagreb to Dubrovnik

If you decide to visit Zagreb, the Croatian capital, located in the northern part of Croatia as well as Dubrovnik, located on the Croatian coast, there are just three travel options you can take – you can either book a flight from Zagreb to Dubrovnik with Croatia Airlines, take a bus or drive to Dubrovnik.

There is no train connection between these two cities.

Buses from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Between Zagreb and Dubrovnik, there are numerous daytime as well as night buses that depart from Zagreb Central Bus Station (Autobusni Kolodvor Zagreb) where you can buy your ticket.
The journey takes about 12 hours, passing through Karlovac, Plitvice Lakes, Zadar and Split.
Bus tickets cost about 200 HRK one way.
All buses from Zagreb arrive at Dubrovnik’s main bus station.

You can see the latest bus timetables and book your tickets in advance here:

Travel tip:

If the bus timetable does not suit your needs, take the first available bus from Zagreb to Split and from there take another one to Dubrovnik. If you split your journey that way, the buses are much more frequent and if you start early enough you may be lucky to catch a ferry to Dubrovnik from Split.
Or, if you have a bit of the time, perhaps you can consider doing some island hopping detour on the way here. I can recommend this journey as it is a much more pleasant way of travelling than sitting on the bus for 12 hours.
Another reason that I prefer this split journey is that it doesn’t involve two border crossings near Neum (Klek/Zaton Doli) which are time-consuming as there are always people there waiting in a queue. This is especially annoying in the summer when queues are the longest so try to avoid it if you can. Update: There is now no need to use this driving route, instead, use the Peljesac bridge route to get to and from Dubrovnik to Split.

Driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

 lovely sunset on the road
Above image: lovely sunset on the road

The distance between these two cities is about 600 km. There are several routes one can take to drive from Zagreb to Dubrovnik – depending on your taste and needs :

  1. There is a longer route with scenic views via Karlovac and Plitvice National Park or
  2. Faster one by motorway: Take the A1 route to Ploče, which is the last point you can get to on A1 route. The journey time is about 5 1/2 hours and the toll cost is 240 HRK which is about 33 Euro.
    Once you get off the A1 motorway near Ploče, take the coastal route to Dubrovnik. The distance is about 100 km and will take you about 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach your destination. Update: use the new Peljesac bridge to get here even faster.
  3. Also, you can choose a route via Bosnia, visiting Sarajevo and Mostar. This is a much longer one but it offers some great scenery along the way that makes it worthwhile.

Depending on the route, driving can take up to 8.5 hrs. The fastest way is via the Peljesac bridge.

If you have time, you can also split these routes into several sections, visiting on the way Plitvice Lakes, Krka National park or Split.

Bear in mind to have your travel documents (passport, visa etc) with you as driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik involves two border crossings near Neum with Bosnia & Hercegovina: Klek and Zaton Doli border crossings. Update: No border crossings if you drive over the newly built Peljesac bridge.

Need Entry Tickets to Town Walls? Buy Now

Have a look at the below map for the shortest driving/bus route between these two cities and see the difference between this one and a detour via Sarajevo or Mostar.

Map of Driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik:

Zagreb to Dubrovnik Forum conversation:

Flights from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Zagreb airport (Pleso) is connected by buses from the Zagreb city centre (16 km). Buses to the airport are pretty frequent, departing from Zagreb Central Bus Station for most of the day (see timetable).

Dubrovnik airport (Cilipi) is about 20 km away from Dubrovnik town centre.

Popular routes: Split to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik to Split, Hvar to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik to Hvar

There are several times a day regular flights by Croatian Airlines between Zagreb and Dubrovnik. The flights take 45 minutes. Prices start from 250 HRK one way.

You can book flight tickets online here.

Once you arrive at Dubrovnik Airport, take a buspre-arranged transfertaxi or Uber to Dubrovnik town centre.

The ride lasts about 20 minutes and costs from 13 euros.

You can buy your bus ticket from the airport to the Old Town or ferry port here.